People have used their imagination to dispense bicycles, cryptocurrency, and even live bait. We can pretty much get anything we want from a vending machine these days and this daring, creative, automated world of weird vending machines that go well beyond snacks. What other weird and bizarre things can you buy from a machine on the street?
At over $1500 for one ounce of gold, it's regarded as one of the most fail-safe investments on the market. And that's what some ATMs in Dubai considered when they thought of dispensing gold coins and bars weighing up to one ounce.
Not surprisingly, many of these gold-dispensing ATMs are located around casinos.
As Wagyu beef has exploded over the last decade, it's evolved from a specialty in Japan into a worldwide delicacy. But much like with any delicacy, most of us wish we could get a hold of this luxurious meat.
While this specific caliber of steak can cost you a pretty penny, they're now being stocked in vending machines in Japan.
Isn't it every pizza lover's dream to travel to Italy, and eat this doughy dish topped with cheese that was just baked inside a 7ft-wide aluminum box?
We don’t know when exactly, but at some point, people wanted pizza availability at any hour of the day, and that's probably how this idea was born.
If book stores or public libraries aren’t your scene, then maybe this vending machine is. Canada has decided to put used books in these automated kiosks for anyone and everyone who might be interested.
In a bid to promote reading, this vending machine lets you choose a book or deposit one.
Healthy people are indulging in a growing trend, seeing as hundreds of these vending machines are springing up all over Tokyo.
The company has reportedly sold more than two million apples through their vending machines, they sell them conveniently sliced, so you can eat them on the go.
These are available in several cities in Australia and Asia. This Smart Banana vending machine sells bundles of three, four, or five bananas. The bananas are smaller than usual, making them easier to pack away for later.
They are stored in a special film before being delivered to the machines and they should last about three to five days.
All across Europe, there are bike dispensers, which are like vending machines for bicycle rentals. These bike dispensers are situated around train stations and tourist hotspots and allow users to rent bicycles at a rate of $4 for 20 hours.
You can find these kinds of machines all over Europe. This one works by unlocking the bike once you've paid and typed in your details.
If we're being totally honest here, the Japanese might just be the most innovative vending machine creators of all time.
At a price, customers can now buy actual bags of rice from vending machines.
Canned bread is apparently very popular in the land of the rising sun and it's said to be the favored snack for many, so much so that now you can get these canned loaves from a vending machine.
They come in a variety of flavors, including banana, coffee, strawberry, and even matcha.
You know that awkward moment when you need a t-shirt but aren't anywhere near a clothing store?
Yeah, that's never going to happen to you if you live in Japan because t-shirt vending machines are littered all over the place.
There are certain choices in life no one should be deprived of, like what they want to eat for lunch, whether they wear a tie or not, and what kind of coffee they like to drink. Giving women a choice when it comes to comfortable footwear is clearly a genius idea.
Wearing heels all day can become painful, so these two men from Toronto found an easy solution for women looking for high heel relief.
Hair Extensions and Accessories
At this point, why not have hair extension vending machines? Who needs a hair salon or even a cosmetic store when you can get hair extensions and all the necessary accessories from an unassuming machine?
The company's founder, Marvin Kilgore, has leased over 40 of these vending machines for $130 per month all around Philadelphia.
Vending machines are great at providing deals. And now, there's a great new way for cryptocurrency users to make some coin. This dispenser was installed next to a mall in Poland, close to their tech hub.
This is actually pretty cool and one of the more unique ideas on our list.
Mystery Vending Machine
In the mood for some mystery? Or are you simply overwhelmed by your myriad of choices when facing a vending machine? Well, this vending machine houses a couple of blank drinks that just have a question mark.
So you feed your coins to the machine, press the button, and see what comes out! It’s a very simple but effective idea, as it treats people's thirst and also their curiosity.
The only thing worse than miserable rain outside is getting caught in it and becoming completely drenched. And of course, Adam Sandler's latest movies. But thanks to this nifty vending machine, you can quickly get an umbrella before the rain starts gushing.
Now there are no more excuses for getting soaked when you don't remember to carry your umbrella with you.
Some people might say that baking should be a calming, uncomplicated, and leisurely pursuit. We're not sure who those people are, but we certainly have no problem with a vending machine that dispenses cupcakes.
These automated cupcake machines seem to be quite popular in New York, with people waiting in lines just to get their sugary fill.
Is there anything vending machines can't offer? Actually yeah, it can't offer relationship advice, nor explain how to fix a broken toaster. We know this because we tried. But in case you haven't noticed, vending machines can provide almost anything, even pecan pies.
This machine was installed in 2008 by The Berdoll Pecan Candy and Gift Shop, and you'll be surprised to know, it's very popular with locals.
In some states, like Montana, you can find vending machines that sell live bait. Sodas and candy bars are star sweets at virtually every vending machine, but live bait?
We would only expect this in one of those quirky vortexes of the U.S., where fishing is a popular pastime.
Sometimes going to the store when you just need some toilet paper, seems a little unnecessary. This particular machine is found in Dusseldorf, Germany.
This is one brilliant idea that saves you the hassle of walking all the way to the toiletry aisle because you know you're going to end up buying other items while at the store.
All Kinds of Burgers
These days, it’s difficult not to find yourself in the general vicinity of any cheeseburger. Our love of all forms of beef and thinly-sliced cheese between two buns has grown so much that it only makes sense that you can order one from a vending machine.
Like this one in the Netherlands, which sells all kinds of burgers.
Who said that vending machines are only for sugary snacks and drinks? Why can’t they also sell healthy stuff like what you would find at a restaurant?
That’s exactly what this vendor was thinking. So they made these incredible machines that make all types of food available fast.
We must admit, when we first saw these vending machines in Las Vegas, we were surprised. Standing against a wall in a hotel or casino in Las Vegas, these vending machines offer lobsters,
LIVE LOBSTERS, people! It seems borderline sadistic to us, and we think the lobsters would agree.
If you aren't getting your bacon from an automated gleaming box, is it even worth eating bacon at all?
The Ohio State University installed a bacon vending machine back in 2018, just in time for finals week, and during the two months the machine was on campus, it sold almost 300 pounds of bacon.
Do you remember the first time you ever had caviar? What's that? You've never tried caviar?! Well, no need to worry, because now there exists a vending machine that solely dispenses caviar.
In a beautiful blend of fine dining and convenience, this vending machine went above and beyond our expectations to deliver this niche and unique dispensing experience.
Nothing makes us say "oui" more than the smell, taste, and texture of a fresh baguette. Now, France is no stranger to beautiful things, especially when it comes to food, which is why this vending machine in France is stocked with freshly baked baguettes.
Here we have a little fresh baguette vending machine all on its own along a little street in France.
The holiday season is full of joy and good times, but there’s one major stressor: gifts. When you're running out of time and forget to get a gift, this nifty machine is meant for super-last-minute shopping.
This particular vending machine is literally a gift that keeps on giving.
Well before foods and drinks were the most common vending machine offerings, tobacco was the main driving force in the development of mechanical purchasing. The first major development in the field were coin-operated postcard boxes that showed up in inns and taverns throughout England in the 1610s.
The mechanics used is similar to today's newspaper vending machines, where you put in your coins and take only what you paid for.
The First Vending Machine
It took two more centuries after their invention for humans to figure out that vending machines could be used to sell consumable food and drink, a development that would also mark the beginning of vending machines in the United States. The first American patent for a vending device was granted to W.H. Fruen in 1884, according to Bon Appétit, for his "Automatic Liquid Drawing Device."
The first machine was never mass-produced or distributed, but four years later, vending machines offering Tutti-Frutti gum were erected in train stations in New York City. By 1894, these automatic gum machines had become so popular that the gum company actually renamed itself the Tutti Frutti Automatic Vending Company.
There is no shortage of ways to enjoy a hot dog, whether ordered from a hot dog stall on the street corner or from a vending machine.
This peculiar way to serve hot dogs may leave many hot dog fans scratching their heads, but they will only have to face them on a trip to Coney Island, which is where these machines are found.
Benefit Cosmetics has makeup kiosks situated throughout the US at several major airports as well as subway stations.
The styled vending machines are hard to miss and each one is jam-packed with more than 30 different products to help us look pulled together even if we don't feel that way.
We regard ice cream as one of our guilty pleasures, so learning that the average person eats 20 pounds of ice cream a year made us breathe a sigh of relief.
Whether they're into mint chocolate chip, vanilla, or rocky road, you can now find your favorite scoop at an ice-cream vending machine, stationed all over colleges campuses, hospitals, and tourist hotspots.
In a bid for parental sanity, certain German train stations have placed these bright yellow Lego vending machines. Clearly, they want to give parents and caretakers every opportunity to survive train rides with their toddlers.
America, we need to cut back on the sodas and snacks, and get vending machines like this!
Catching crabs is an incredibly difficult task and time-consuming process, so why not get your crabs from this machine? Located in China's Jiangsu province, it dispenses crabs, yes crabs.
If you happen to be in China with at least $7 in your pocket, then you too can get one of these.
The Burrito Box
Behold, the burrito vending machine. Burritos are valued for being the most American of all the Mexican-American dishes.
If you travel along the west coast, you can still find a wider variety of burrito types that evolved to fit the culinary landscape. And inside a gas station in West Hollywood, California, you can find an automated kiosk that serves burritos!
Finally, there’s a one stop shop for all your stationery needs. A new vending machine dispenses pens, notepads, pencils, calculators, but of course, you’ll need more than just a few quarters to retrieve them.
Fingers crossed one is coming soon to a street corner near us.
Besides the fact that we’re all busy, there are plenty of other important reasons to keep a vending machine stocked with nail polish. Maybe your manicure is peeling off. Maybe you have an important interview to get to but your nails are looking a little drab.
Whatever the reason, at least you know there's a vending machine out there.
Beer has the potential to have a huge impact, just look at beer-loving pot-bellied nations! Which is probably why Japanese breweries decided to stock vending kiosks with beers.
Not only do they sell a decent array of beers, but they're also cheap! For only two dollars, these cans can be purchased from these Japanese vending stalls.
We're only partly surprised that these don't come from the United States. Europeans also have insane cravings for french fries, and if they have a few dollars, along with a few minutes to spare, they can get a box of freshly fried potato slivers.
This machine is so nifty it serves your fresh french fries in a paper cup, making it an easy-to-eat on-the-go snack. Also, there's ketchup served on the side.
Apparently unpasteurized dairy is a thing in Europe, so next time you’re vacationing over there, buy a jar of raw milk and see what all the fuss is about.
These daring distributors of raw milk can be found in countries like France, Switzerland, Croatia, Austria, the Netherlands, and all over Italy.
The classiest vending machine yet, finally! And if a champagne vending machine doesn't seem like a contradiction, we don’t know what does.
This dispenser is located in the Selfridges department store in London, because who doesn't need a miniature bottle of champagne at the end of a long work week?
Stray Dog and Cat Feeder
Everyone loves a heartwarming post, but they never seem to star vending machines, even though they dispense food and drinks.
With stray dogs and cats all around Istanbul, this eco-friendly innovation was placed to take empty plastic bottles to dispense food for the strays animals.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
We all love to buy Slurpees from our local gas station. Well, instead of slushie liquids, imagine if you could also grab some mashed potatoes with a side of gravy?
In Singapore, they take their mashed potatoes very seriously, which is why you can find these mashed potato vending machines all over.
Breathalyzer Vending Machine
This breathalyzer tester can be found in almost 20 countries. All you have to do to use it is grab a straw, place it in the testing hole and blow hard through it for two seconds, thereafter you'll see your results and know if you're good to go.
This is a great idea and should be placed outside of every bar, club and pub.
Proving that Japanese adults can be every bit as thirsty as Americans, someone had the foresight to install these Sake vending machines all over Japan.
So what is Sake exactly? Is it a wine or more like a beer? Most of the time, Sake is incorrectly referred to as a fortified rice wine because of its taste and texture, but's is actually made of fermented rice, quite similar to beer.
Clean Water Vending Machines
This entry is potentially the most valuable vending machine in our entire list.
While many of us forget the importance of clean drinking water, there are others who struggle to attain it, which is why this Danish company initiated this project to install vending machines that supply clean drinking water to impoverished communities in Kenya and India.
Pasta, Tiramisu, and Coffee
Take your tastebuds back to Italy by ordering a classic pasta or tiramisu dish, along with some strong coffee.
This restaurant installed this kiosk in an unassuming neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, right next to their Italian eatery.
For less than two dollars, people all over the world can buy a small bouquet of flowers.
The flower-dispenser can be found all over, from train stations to malls. Now there's no reason to return home without a bouquet of flowers for your partner.
If you're looking for a fresh cut of beef, pork, or chicken but your local butcher shop is closed, then you can head over to one of Applestone's meat vending machines as these are not bound by regular business hours.
These vending stalls serve all cuts of meat, whether it's beef, pork or chicken.
Nowadays, the tiny but mighty iPod has its very own vending machine, stationed all over at various airports.
Apparently, the airports are reporting pretty good sales from their electronics vending machines, with their iPod Nanos being the most popular product.
Located in Denver, Colorado, a medical CBD product company called Kind Love has a vending stand that allows customers to purchase their goods for themselves.
All they have to do is scan their IDs to ensure their eligibility and then pick from their menu. After state lawmakers advocated for these machines in January 2020, many others have sprung up.
In a space that’s long been dominated by Snickers and Cliff bars, it’s strange to see a contraception product placed inside a vending machine.
This trend started in Europe but has since spread to Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, which has supplied emergency contraception since 2012. From there, it spread across the country and these can mostly be found on college campuses.
Over the past decade, the amount of egg dispensers cropping up around the United States has grown exponentially.
Creative ideas like these egg vending machines will not only help stimulate the economy and protect smaller businesses, but they also allow easy access for customers.
Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers
In London, near Carnaby street, there was a brief stint where you could find Japan’s most famous sneakers, Onitsuka Tigers. The Japanese sports brand has since launched its products to the global market.
Now, these automated kiosks carry up to 20 pairs of their shoes, all ranging in various sizes.
In Seoul, South Korea, stationed outside of restrooms, are fully stocked vending machines with an assortment of items to help you make it through any unexpected situation.
From tissues to bandages, this machine even provides vitamins to help travelers in need.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to renting a Bentley, especially now that vending machines stock these bad boys.
While the luxury car has been around for a hot minute, more recently it's been put in a rental machine in the Mondrian Hotel in Miami.
Jean Paul Gaultier Dresses
It seems we've reached that point in time when an ordinary vending machine simply won't do. So if you're in a strange frame of mind, you too might want to buy a dress designed by Jean Paul Gaultier.
JPG has been described as an "enfant terrible" (terrible? That bad?) of the fashion industry and is well-known for his controversial designs.
This walk-in dispensary of expensive watches is void of sales assistants, so no more pressure from store employees when you're looking at that pricey watch you've always wanted.
Once your initial decision has been made to outfit your wrist, you won't need help from anyone.
From a deep red velvet cake to a double chocolate fudge cake, there is something incredibly cathartic about picking a cake from line up. We all love a good cake — and it's easy to see why.
So why not put cakes in a vending machine? It's apparently become quite a trend, with many bakeries displaying their baked cakes through vending machines.
Tiffany & Co
Ever hoped you'd get a wrapped little box containing Tiffany & Co? How about finding a Tiffany & Co jewelry box in a vending machine? Well, now you can as they've unveiled one of the world's most decadent vending machines in their London store.
So instead of buying a carbonated soda or a Clif bar, you can pick up a Tiffany & Co product.
Until now, these two-wheeled, self-balancing transporters have been the domain of mail carriers, European policemen, and tourists being guided through a city.
That, however, is about to change, now that you can buy a Segway from this automated dispenser. Gogreen, a distributor of Segways launched this vending machine in Singapore.
Beauty boxes have evolved and expanded over the past few years to offer something for everyone.
From fake lashes to skincare products, there’s a box out there for everything—whether it’s to help you have clearer skin, or look your best on your next night out, these vending dispensers are here to save the day.
In Switzerland, you can get your impromptu mountain cheese needs, this machine allows you to pick up Swiss raclette and all the necessary accompaniments any time of day and any day of the week.
This is for the cheese-lovers whose happy place is hovering over melting cheese, waiting to devour it.
The UK has now provided another platform for writers to showcase their work. With this station being the first of its kind in England, these vending machines now deliver bite-sized literary treats for book lovers.
Any reader, or even those who want to read more, will appreciate this.
With junk food being highly accessible, you’ve been lectured on the importance of eating healthy foods when you were a little kid, which makes this smoothie-making machine stand in stark contrast to the average vending machine.
This is where these smoothie stations come in, giving you a healthy alternative that’s personalized and hassle-free.
Look, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the tried-and-true soups offered by your standard supermarket, but why not live a little and order soup that's freshly made in the machine right in front of you?
It only takes a few minutes, apparently, and voila! You've got your very own bowl of soup.
Two things we adore separately and independently are instant noodles and vending machines. They are each convenient in their own right, and upon further inspection, we had a hard time buying that together, both of these would be greater than the sum of their parts.
However, we love to be proven wrong when being proven wrong is delicious.
First came challah. Then hummus went viral. Now, people are making bagels with latkes for lunch. There’s no doubt about it, kosher food can sometimes be hard to find, which is probably why it's being stocked in vending machines.
While these foods may not be the tastiest food out there, they are ready to eat for those who keep kosher.
Any avid soccer fan will be thrilled to see soccer balls displayed in a vending machine, making it your one stop shop to get a soccer ball whenever you need one.
Has yours recently gone lost, or been punctured? Well, now you won't need to wait till the nearest sports shop is open, you can just buy one from this vending machine, open 24/7.
At an average of $2 per rental, Redbox is quite possibly Netflix's biggest rival. (You know, assuming you still prefer DVDs over streaming services.) Their automated machines dispense DVD, Blu-ray, and video games.
Redbox kiosks feature the company's signature bright red color and are located nearby supermarkets, fast food joints, and pharmacies.
The very first vending machine ever made existed in the 1st Century CE. It was a fairly simple machine, all you had to do was slide a golden coin to dispense a splash of holy water.
For a machine that worked, it was undeniably simple and around 2000 years ahead of its time.
People's obsession with leafy greens is hitting its peak, which is why vending machine distributors and farmers are jumping at the chance to sell their lettuce straight to the consumer.
In other words, fast food can also be healthy, even if you serve it from a refrigerated vending machine.
Few people enjoy wearing a neck tie, but better to don one than to get fired. So, why not break the mold without breaking the system, and get your neck tie from a vending machine?
That way, the next time someone asks where you got your boring neck tie, at least you can tell them it's from a vending machine.
Given parents everywhere share enthusiasm for clean babies along with a disgust for dirty diapers, it was inevitable that diaper companies would turn their attention to the vending machine.
If you know the pain and anguish that comes with diaper-related emergencies, you'll appreciate these vending machines that stock diapers and wet wipes.
Hot on the heels of other toy companies, here's another idea that allows you to build your very own toy. This was brought about by the collaboration between Squibbles Ink and Rotofugi toys.
Now you can pick the toy you want from an automated vending machine, assemble it by yourself, and play!
A Man in a Vending Machine
The whole point of vending machines is to automate transactions but this one works a little differently. Here you put your money in and a real person on the other side of the glass will hand you some candy.
These unusual vendors are situated in Tokyo, Japan, of course.
At this point, they're more relevant than ever, which is why you can now buy medical face masks from vending machines in Taiwan.
As contactless machines, we're not surprised by how much they've grown in the last few years, and they've probably been given a boost from the booming tech industry.
Even though fish broth is not ready for consumption, it's a popular ingredient used in cooking Asian cuisine.
It's so popular, in fact, that there are vending machines that exclusively sell fish broth.
On any given day, this vending machine in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, can offer you anything from handwritten poems to a jar of Miracle Whip. If you see something you'd like, there's no need to take out your wallet.
The ‘Swap-O-Matic’ vending machine works on a barter system, which lets you swap and trade items, rather than buy them.